Roxanne Padgett has been creating “stuff” and making “messes” since she was four or five years old, using whatever materials she could find. She does the same thing today, but now it is called Mixed-Media Art. “I explore my creative voice through painting, drawing, collage, photography, text, journaling and textiles. I am inspired by playing with color and layering and am fascinated by what is revealed and concealed through the layering process. I enjoy sharing the creative process with others and believe that everyone is creative, not just a special few.”
Roxanne teaches a variety of art classes for adults throughout the Bay Area and at art retreats around the country. In addition, Roxanne works for the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, California as an arts educator. Roxanne’s work has been featured in a variety of publications such as, Somerset Studio, Sew Somerset, Stuffed and Green Craft. She lives in Hayward, California with her husband Bryan. You can follow Roxanne and find your creative outlet at her blog, ArtHouse577.
What kind of art are you known for?
Mixed Media with lots of paper, textiles, and paint.
What is on your workspace right now?
I just spent some time organizing and sorting through my collage boxes. I have stacks of different collage materials ready to be used for projects or to be purged. I try to clean and organize my art materials a couple of times a year. I think you have to get rid of stuff every now and then to make room for new materials and ideas.
Why do you make art?
I can’t help but make art; I have been creating since I can remember. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have a scrap box, lots of paints and brushes or draw in a journal. I am compelled to “make stuff” and try to leave the door open to the creative unknown. I usually start with a general idea, but will change what I am doing as inspiration or mistakes strike. I take advantage of both and am happy to follow the creative muse where it takes me.
What’s your current favorite, can’t-live-without-it tool, supply, material, or junkyard find?
My favorite tool is always a journal. I have several handmade journals going at once and I have one with me at all times. They are the best way to keep track of all the ideas and inspiration as they come to me. Sometimes it might be a word, a scribble, a sketch, a scrap of paper, a color combination, or an image; it can all go in my journals. I can go back to my journals at any time and mine those ideas.
What is your least favorite technique that you still use anyway?
Nothing, I can’t think of anything I don’t like. If I don’t like it, I don’t do it. I am very happy when making art and I don’t consider any of it work.
What’s your favorite tool or material?
Large pads of excellent drawing paper and painters canvas. I also love stencils, paint, painting tools and you can’t beat a box of shiny new crayons.
What do you listen to when you create?
I usually have the TV on with cooking shows or HGTV. I like to have on shows where people are making and creating things. It could be making something to eat or creating something in the garden and house or making a good craft project.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
There are so many great books to choose from so it’s hard to pick just one, but recently I was re-reading What It Is by Lynda Barry and How To Be Explorer Of The World by Kerri Smith. Both books seem to be about asking more questions than getting the right answers. I love books that challenge me to explore, investigate, observe, collect, analyze, reflect and ask questions.
What’s the last thing you cooked?
My husband and I both love to cook and eat together. This week we made pulled pork roast and a smoked adobo red chili sauce with creamy polenta served with a freshly sliced, perfectly ripened avocado.
If you could surround yourself with only one color, what would it be?
I love strong saturated colors, with lots of magenta and lime green.
What’s your favorite place in all the world?
In my art studio with all the time in the world.
What one thing do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
I want to learn how to silk screen and air brush. Both of which I will do as soon as a figure out how to get more space in my house for art making, as both of these techniques will require some new tools. In addition to my two studio spaces in my house, I am considering turning the garage into a paint studio.
What’s today’s Word to Live By?
“Fear No Color”! Never be afraid to try anything. I always say, it’s only a piece of paper, what have you got to lose?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching re-runs of Project Runway, while eating vanilla Hagen Daz with fresh raspberries.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
With whom would you love to spend one day making art?
I love to have one more day with my artist friend Mart, who passed away a few years ago. Mart and I used to get together every couple of months to make stuff and play with different media or go hunting at secondhand stores for “art materials.” I really miss our time together.
When is your favorite time of day?
I actually love the morning, I feel rested and there is nothing like that first cup of coffee while contemplating what the new day will bring or what projects I want to work on that day.
What is your earliest memory?
One of my earliest memories is of making stuff with things I found around the house. I remember when I was about 5 years old; I scotch taped candy gum drops to a dish towel, my first mixed media piece! I showed it to my Grandmother and she loved it. I also remember cutting out all the pictures from my parents Encyclopedia Britannica set and making my own books out of the images. I did get in trouble for that one; my Mom gave me magazines to cut up after that. But it didn’t stop me from continuing to hunt for materials around the house to use for art-making.
What was your first job?
Ironing my cousin’s clothes at 10 cents per article of clothing. I still really like to iron; I hate wrinkles in my clothes. I also like to press flat my painted canvases and painted papers. Luckily, I don’t have to make my living at ironing!
What’s your one favorite material thing?
My book collection, I have been collecting books for more than 30 years. Besides my 4 plus book cabinets, filled to the top, I have stacks of books and magazines in just about every room in the house. I tell myself I don’t need to buy more books, they take up too much room, and I can find all the information on the internet, etc. etc. But nothing makes me happier to grab a random book off the book shelf to see what’s inside. Some are like old friends and I never get tired of them. Oh, yeah, I forgot about the 2 book cabinets in garage!
What’s your best piece of advice for artists?
You can’t get away from yourself, no matter how hard you try, so don’t try, just be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other people or artists. All you need to do is let what is already in you come out to play! Also embrace mistakes; mistakes are opportunities, they can lead you to new ideas and projects.
You can order Roxanne’s book, Acrylic Techniques in Mixed Media: Layer, Scribble, Stencil, Stamp from the North Light Shop.
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